9/11 Families Say Iran Helped Plan Attacks

Lawsuit accuses Tehran and Hezbollah of aiding al-Qaeda
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 20, 2011 3:57 PM CDT
In this Sept. 11, 2001, file photo, the twin towers of the World Trade Center burn behind the Empire State Building in New York.   (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler, File)

(Newser) – Lawyers representing 9/11 families are asking a federal judge to find Iran culpable in the Sept. 11 attacks, saying new evidence shows Iranian officials had advance word and even helped train the hijackers. The lawyers said Iran and the Lebanese group Hezbollah entered into a terrorist alliance with al-Qaeda in the early 1990s that continued throughout the preparations for the 2001 attacks. They said Iran and Hezbollah gave material support to al-Qaeda after the attacks by helping some of the group's leaders escape from the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Supporting their arguments, the lawyers cited 28 hours of testimony by three defectors from Iran's intelligence service. Papers were filed yesterday in US District Court in Manhattan calling the new developments "clear and convincing" evidence to conclude that damages should be paid to their plaintiffs, families, and personal representatives of some of those killed in the attacks. Iran has not responded to the lawsuit, which was first filed in Washington and later transferred to New York.

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